Dad, 30, made homeless after Universal Credit payment failure takes his own life


Stephen Collinson had been staying in hostels across Hull city after his Universal Credit payout did not come through as he had expected over the Christmas period of 2019

Stephen Collinson had been staying at the Doorstep of Hull in Albert Avenue prior to his death
Stephen Collinson had been staying at the Doorstep of Hull prior to his death

A dad who lost his rental accommodation and wound up in a homeless hostel after a Universal Credit payment failure tragically took his own life, an inquest heard.

Stephen Collinson had been staying in hostels across Hull city after his Universal Credit payout did not come through as he had expected over the Christmas period of 2019.

The 30-year-old dad had been staying at the Doorstep of Hull but was tragically found dead in his room on May 28, last year, an inquest heard.

A large quantity of ethanol was found in his blood during a postmortem examination.

The day before his tragic death, Stephen had been in an argument with another resident, and was therefore called to a meeting with the housing board to discuss moving him to another accommodation.

Other than the argument in question, the housing support officer at Doorstep said Stephen was a well-balanced person who had never had any concerns raised about him, Hull Live reports.

Stephen was searching for a full-time job and a permanent home just days before his tragic death
(

Image:

Fern Rivett)

In a statement read in court, the housing officer said: “Stephen got on well with the others, he was a very nice person who often cooked food for other people living in the accommodation.”

Stephen had been handed a card informing of the imminent meeting taking place the night before.

However, he would not have known the details of the meeting from the card alone, hostel staff reasoned.

Coroner Lorraine Harris said: “I have evidence here that shows that Stephen would not have been homeless, but he did not know that, and it is a shame.

“He ended his life with the apprehension of being homeless, but the housing group was fully supportive of him.”

In December 2019, Stephen had told Hull Live he had ended up living in the homeless hostel when his Universal Credit payout did not come through as he had expected during Christmas time.

Stephen had been working at a factory rolling up pigs in blankets up until late October 2019, but, due to a delay in wages, he was not eligible for Universal Credit payment in December and struggled to pay rent, causing him to move into Doorstep.

He previously said: “I’m getting up and going to work and trying my hardest and it feels like I’m getting nothing whereas if I just sat on my a*** I’d be alright.

“I’ve been working my a*** off all year, then when I need the help it’s not there.

“I just think it’s an absolute joke.”

Recently, in March 2021, he had also lost a close friend to suicide and was feeling very low about it, the court heard.

Stephen had been very close with his brother throughout his life, particularly following their parents’ divorce, which had a big impact on his life.

His loved ones attended the inquest, remembering him fondly for the person he was.

Fern Rivett, Stephen’s ex-partner and mother to his daughter, Darcy, said: “He will be well and thoroughly missed, I just wish he got the help he needed or came to us.”

His sister-in law, Katie Campion, said: “He was a loving uncle and both my children adored him.”

The coroner returned a verdict of suicide.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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